The Art & Design Research Centre in Liverpool’s art school currently holds Photographs of Openings 1974-5, a series of photographs collected and displayed with professionalism, refreshing in its links to exhibition history. Within the images, we see people interacting with the art on display as well as the work itself – posing questions about our existence as the secondary viewer, the significance of the work itself as opposed to the reaction of its audience as well as the accreditation of the photography itself.
Jacques Charlier’s photographs have never been exhibited in the UK before this progressive showcase, capturing exchanges between all areas of the art world, including curators, art dealers, collectors, writers and spectators alike. It is the black and white simplicity of the works as well as the methodical display that create an authenticity for viewers.
Following the exhibition in a visual journey around the room, it is interesting to view the progression of the body language of spectators as their surroundings develop from gallery spaces to art fairs. Once again our eyes are led to the relationship between the art and the viewer, allowing the onlooker’s gaze to take significance as the artist exposes the vibrancy of the art scene at the time.
Photographs of Openings 1974-5 is the first arranged by Antony Hudek, a new member of the art school staff who many of us are now privileged to be taught by. The exhibition will be open Monday – Friday, 10.00 – 17.00 until 1 March 2013.
Art and Design Academy, Liverpool John Moores University, Duckinfield Street, L3 5RD